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How to buy a car wisely – choose a car fit for your lifestyle and budget

How to buy a car wisely – choose a car fit for your lifestyle and budget

There’s no doubt that thousands of South Africans think with their hearts instead of their heads when buying a new car. Avoiding buyer’s remorse and up to six years of wincing every time a car payment is made, just means a touch of realism and matching your lifestyle and budget to your new car, says Datsun South Africa.

“With the high-specification cars on offer today, opting for a car that meets your lifestyle needs and takes the pressure off your pocket is achievable,” says Des Fenner, General Manager of Datsun South Africa. He points out that cars in the A-segment are stylish and offer air conditioning and other luxury features as standard.

Cars like the Datsun GO are ideal for first-time car buyers looking for a compact city runabout, while cars like the Datsun GO+ offer more space for growing young families. Both offer high-quality, affordable mobility to South African motorists – Datsun stood out at the Ipsos Quality Awards recently, taking a bronze award in the ‘Best New Volume Passenger Car’ category.

“Gone are the days when buying an affordable car meant getting a car without style and performance. It is far easier now to buy a new comfortable vehicle, at a suitable price, and keep your friends or family happy by not having to sacrifice other luxuries - like a night out on the town, or a well-deserved family holiday.”

How to match motoring aspirations to your lifestyle begins with: 

  • Setting a realistic budget

Starting off the right way means knowing what your budget is. Monthly costs should not be based only on the instalment payment, but include maintenance, licensing and insurance costs.

  • Buying a car that is fit for purpose

You may enjoy the rumble of a V8, but if you mainly drive in urban areas that lovely noise is going to empty your pocket. It pays to buy a car that meets your needs. In a city environment a vehicle with a smaller, peppy engine that adapts to your needs keeps costs down. For instance, a Datsun GO+, with a fold down seat to carry up to seven passengers, is far better than buying a heavy estate car because you occasionally need to carry more people.

  • Understanding just what maintenance and parts will cost

How to avoid paying unnecessary costs means looking at the Kinsey Report. The most authoritative source of this information in South Africa, the report tells you what parts will cost. At the end of 2016, the report revealed that three categories were examined. These included:

  • Category A (Service Items): covering everyday replaceable items, such as air filters, spark/glow plugs, brake pads/shoes and wiper blades.
  • Category B (Repair Parts): covering major items, such as cam belts, shock absorbers, clutch and pressure plates, flywheels, and fan belts, and;.
  • Category C (Crash Parts): major replacement body costs, such as bonnets, grilles, doors, fenders and bumper skins, and light assemblies.

When all costs listed were taken into account in the ‘city car and entry car level’ category, the report revealed that that Datsun GO was the most affordable car to repair and maintain by ‘parts basket’ – an accolade achieved by Datsun in both the 2015 and 2016 editions of the report.

For the savvy motorist, these costs give an indication of what insurance will cost. The lower the overall cost, and the more readily available the parts, the lower the insurance premium.

  • Knowing that sophisticated gadgets mean higher costs

It’s great having a windscreen that senses when it’s raining and automatically switches on the wipers. But embedded sensors means higher costs - especially when a windscreen needs to be replaced. One needs to consider how much effort it takes to flick a switch when it begins raining?

  • Seeing just what the trade in value of your car will be

Buying over your price bracket can mean compromising on brand and buying a car because of its sophisticated gadgets but slightly lower price. The discomfort could come at trade in time, when you find out that buying an alternate brand means a lower trade in value.

If you buy a car you can afford and ‘trade-up’ when trading in, but stay ‘in brand’ you will generally score on what a dealer will offer you.

“Last, but not least, it is important to consider buying a car that is supported by a wide network of dealers. This means that you can get the vehicle serviced, or get assistance, wherever it is required. At Datsun, we now have more than 100 dealers across the country.”

“This means affordable, accessible service wherever you are – sometimes not the case with luxury vehicles with limited dealer support,” says Mr Fenner.

For more Datsun news and information visit the Datsun website on www.datsun.co.za, like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/datsunsa, view our YouTube site on www.youtube.com/datsunsa, or find us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/datsunsa.